A Thousand Shards of Crimson

By mirna03

Fantasy / Romance

Chapter 2

Renji stared with glassy eyes at the stack of paperwork that sat at his desk. There were many perks of being a vice captain, such as increased pay, and a position of high authority. However the perks also come with mundane things such as paperwork. Letting out a long sigh, Renji gazed at the window, drinking in the warm rays of the sun. It was a beautiful summer day, perfect for going to the beach, training, or just being outdoors. Just as Renji was beginning to doze off a sharp rap on the door jerked him awake.

"Vice captain Abarai, captain Kuchiki wants your report in by this afternoon," said a voice behind the door.

"I'll be finished by this afternoon," Renji voiced confidently, although his eyes betrayed him. He stared with dismay at the blank piece of paper. He was frustrated with himself for having wasted the entire morning. Sighing heavily he dipped his quill in the bottle of ink and began to write his report.

Three hours later Renji threw his quill down and heaved a sigh of relief. He managed to finish just before 5:00pm. Stretching his cramped legs, he quickly proof read the report making sure there were no spelling or grammatical errors. With a satisfied nod, he made his way to captain Kuchiki's office. The sixth division headquarters were quieter than usual, making Renji's heavy footsteps echo in the hallway. As Renji approached Byakuya's office he licked his lips nervously, and straightened his shihakusho. Kuchiki Byakuya, the man who Renji feared and admired. The members of the sixth division and his friends knew how desperately Renji wanted to surpass Byakuya, the man who had stolen his one true friend. After Rukia was adopted into the Kuchiki household, their friendship was destroyed, and so Renji resented Byakuya for taking away the one thing that connected him to Inuzuri. Recently Renji found out the circumstance behind Rukia's adoption, and how that was linked to his captain's past. He couldn't help but feel sorry for the man whose heart turned to stone once his wife passed away. Yet, just after Renji had that thought, he suddenly felt anxious as he realized that he was standing in front of Byakuya's office. Wiping the slight beads of sweat that had gathered beneath the sunglasses on his forehead, Renji knocked on the door.

"Excuse me captain Kuchiki, I have come to deliver the report."

"Enter," said a cool voice from the other side of the door.

Renji carefully slid the door open, and stepped inside. Byakuya was facing the window, his back towards Renji.

"Your report is late," said Byakuya without turning around.

A thin film of sweat had started to gather on Renji's upper lip. "I..I..was told it had to be in by..by.. 5:00pm," stammered Renji.

Byakuya turned around, and fixed his steely grey eyes on Renji. Renji blushed and looked away quickly. He could feel Byakuya's intimidating, cool gaze studying him carefully.

"Look at the clock Renji. What does it say?"

Renji looked up at the clock hanging on the wall and realized that it was 5:05pm. Shit, he thought. "My deepest apologies captain Kuchiki. It was irresponsible of me to not have the report delivered to you before the 5 o'clock deadline. It won't happen again," said Renji bowing. Renji could hear the rustling of Byakuya's haori as he slowly made his way to where Renji was standing. Byakuya held out his hand, and as Renji straightened up to hand him the papers, he let go too quickly, causing the papers to flutter to the ground. Flushing furiously, his face nearly the same shade of scarlet as his hair Renji began apologizing, his words spilling incoherently one after another.

"Captain Kuchiki. My...my deepest apologies," he stammered. Quickly bending down he began gathering the papers. To his utmost surprise Byakuya dropped to one knee and slowly started picking up the pieces of paper as well. Renji lifted his head and stared at the man in front of him. Byakuya's grey eyes met his and Renji quickly looked away gathering the stack of papers as swiftly as he could. Just as Renji went to pick up the last piece of paper, Byakuya's long fingertips brushed Renji's calloused hands. Drawing in a sharp breath, Renji quickly pulled away. He straightened up, and without taking his eyes off the floor bowed, apologized once more, and covered the entrance in three steps.

Just as he was about to slide the door open Byakuya stopped him, "Renji, you still have half the report,"

Flushing outrageously, his skin the shade of beets Renji handed the rest of the report to his captain. Without another word, he bowed and stepped outside the office. After sliding the door shut and leaving the sixth division barracks Renji let out a huge sigh of relief. The cool air felt wonderful on his flaming skin. Renji was still feeling slightly anxious and what would really put him at ease now was a vigorous training session. As Renji walked through the woods he couldn't help but think of what happened in Byakuya's office when their hands brushed. It was nothing like he had ever felt before. The electrifying jolt shook him to the core, leaving him vulnerable and confused. Perhaps it was because his captain had always been so distant and being in such close proximity to him was slightly shocking. Renji let out a sigh as he scolded himself for being so intimidated by his captain. Byakuya was willing to let his lateness slide and even helped him pick up the papers he had clumsily dropped. Yet, in the back of Renji's mind he couldn't stop thinking about those long, white fingertips. Byakuya's hands were flawless, and the sensation of his skin on Renji's left him feeling dizzy. Renji had never admitted this to anybody but he had always thought Kuchiki Byakuya was quite beautiful. His presence was commanding, yet there was a softness in his demeanour. He was powerful and respected by all of Seireitei, yet elegant and graceful. Kuchiki Byakuya, the man who Renji yearned to be like was miles away, like the rising of the full moon, he was beautiful, proud and untouchable.


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